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More on the siaḥ of suaḥ: numinous conversations of trees and other vegetation

Sukkah (Italy, 1374). British Library MS Or 5024 fol 70v

While working on some curriculum for the Teva Learning Alliance this summer, I was introduced to the Tseno Ureno, an amazing medieval commentary on the Torah by Rabbi Yaakov ben Yitsḥak Ashkenazi (1550-1625). Here’s Rabbi Yaakov Ashkenazi on Deuteronomy 20:19 — כִּ֤י הָֽאָדָם֙ עֵ֣ץ הַשָּׂדֶ֔ה. This is the verse from which the mitzvah of bal . . . → Continue reading: More on the siaḥ of suaḥ: numinous conversations of trees and other vegetation

On the Interconnectedness of All of Life: An Ecology of Oneness in the Tanna d’bei Eliyahu

Image: Oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) mycelium growing in a petri dish on coffee grounds by Tobi Kellner (License: CC-BY-SA 3.0 Unported)

I want to share one of the most beautiful Jewish ecology quotes I learned while reading through the curricular material while teaching at Teva Learning Center in (now Teva Learning Alliance) in the fall of 2010. The quote: “The whole world of humans, animals, fish, and birds all depend on one another. All drink the earth’s water, breathe the earth’s air, and find their food in what was created on the earth. All share the same destiny.” It was so beautiful I wanted to do some fact-checking to determine if this was a literal or a more creative translation and also to understand its context. Some detective work was in order. The source on the sheet I found it said it was from Tanna Debe Eliyahu, an early collection of midrash completed in the 10th century. . . . → Continue reading: On the Interconnectedness of All of Life: An Ecology of Oneness in the Tanna d’bei Eliyahu

The Two Lovers

On this trip, I had the pleasure of sharing a day trip between D.C. and N.Y.C. with a friend of an acquaintance. As it happens, by which I mean, by the tender coincidences blessed upon me in the happenstance of creation, this fellow, Eli K-W, also happens to love Jewish myth and has lately been . . . → Continue reading: The Two Lovers

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